Intel and AMD are competing for a share in the global PC market, and the margin between the manufacturers is closer than ever before.
AMD has hit back at Intel with the launch of its Zen-based processors and has since been keeping stride with the bigger CPU company.
Since the launch of its first-generation Ryzen processors, AMD has been winning back market share among gamers and enthusiasts with the impressive performance of its new chips.
Intel answered this assault with the release of its 8th-generation and 9th-generation desktop chips, which boast increased core counts to keep pace with their Ryzen counterparts.
While performance may be important, pricing remains a crucial consideration for many desktop CPU buyers – and this is where AMD has an edge.
To see how Intel and AMD CPUs compare, we looked at the best desktop processors available in South Africa from the companies.
Hardware and pricing
Online retailers in South Africa stock both first and second-generation AMD Ryzen chips as well as 8th-gen and 9th-gen Intel Core processors.
Pricing for the older hardware can vary wildly, as some may be marked down for clearance while others might be more expensive.
It is important to note that Intel’s chips have integrated graphics, while only AMD’s Ryzen chips with the “G” suffix have onboard GPUs.
Additionally, all of the AMD Ryzen 1st-gen and 2nd-gen processors can be overclocked, while only the Intel chips with the “K” designation can be tuned up.
When comparing the specifications and pricing of the processors, we only included CPUs which were available for purchase from local online retailers – omitting any which were out of stock across multiple stores.
Below are the specifications and pricing of the AMD Ryzen and Intel Core CPUs on the market.
|Processor||Cores||Threads||Base Clock||Boost Clock||TDP||Price|
|Intel Core 8th-Gen|
|Intel Core i3-8100||4||4||3.6GHz||N/A||65W||R2,499|
|Intel Core i3-8300||4||4||3.7GHz||N/A||62W||R3,423|
|Intel Core i3-8350K||4||4||4.0GHz||N/A||91W||R4,179|
|Intel Core i5-8400||6||6||2.8GHz||4.0GHz||65W||R3,999|
|Intel Core i5-8600||6||6||3.1GHz||4.3GHz||65W||R5,199|
|Intel Core i7-8700||6||12||3.2GHz||4.6GHz||65W||R6,739|
|Intel Core i7-8086K||6||12||4.0GHz||5.0GHz||95W||R8,867|
|AMD Ryzen 1st-Gen|
|AMD Ryzen 3 1200||4||4||3.1GHz||3.45GHz||65W||R2,229|
|AMD Ryzen 3 1300X||4||4||3.5GHz||3.9GHz||65W||R2,399|
|AMD Ryzen 5 1400||4||8||3.2GHz||3.45GHz||65W||R3,179|
|AMD Ryzen 5 1500X||4||8||3.5GHz||3.9GHz||65W||R3,279|
|AMD Ryzen 5 1600||6||12||3.2GHz||3.7GHz||65W||R3,469|
|AMD Ryzen 5 1600X||6||12||3.6GHz||4.1GHz||95W||R2,699|
|AMD Ryzen 7 1700||8||16||3.0GHz||3.75GHz||65W||R3,499|
|AMD Ryzen 7 1800X||8||16||3.6GHz||4.1GHz||95W||R4,499|
|Intel Core 9th-Gen|
|Intel Core i5-9400F||6||6||2.9GHz||4.1GHz||65W||R3,589|
|Intel Core i5-9600K||6||6||3.7GHz||4.6GHz||95W||R4,849|
|Intel Core i5-9700K||8||8||3.6GHz||4.9GHz||95W||R7,799|
|Intel Core i9-9900K||8||16||3.6GHz||5.0GHz||95W||R9,499|
|AMD Ryzen 2nd-Gen|
|AMD Ryzen 3 2200G||4||4||3.5GHz||3.7GHz||65W||R1,789|
|AMD Ryzen 5 2400G||4||8||3.6GHz||3.9GHz||65W||R2,769|
|AMD Ryzen 5 2600||6||12||3.4GHz||3.9GHz||65W||R3,449|
|AMD Ryzen 7 2700||8||16||3.2GHz||4.1GHz||65W||R5,349|
|AMD Ryzen 7 2700X||8||16||3.7GHz||4.3GHz||105W||R6,649|
Old versus New
There is a difference in performance between the first and second generation of AMD’s Ryzen processors, as well as Intel’s newer and slightly older chips.
However, this is only incremental in places and the older chips with reduced price tags – such as the Ryzen 5 1600X for R2,699 – can be great deals for a builder who is looking for high-end performance on a budget.
If you want to have the best performance possible however, you will need to look at the latest chips from both manufacturers.
Benchmark comparisons have shown that while AMD’s Ryzen 2nd-gen processors excel in multi-threaded applications due to their high core counts and multi-threaded optimisation, Intel’s single-threaded performance is significantly better than AMD’s.
This means that selecting which processor to buy depends on your application and budget.
If you need extremely fast single-threaded performance and don’t mind paying a premium, the Intel Core i9-9900K will be able to blast through anything you put in front of it.
Conversely, if you are on a budget and require a fast CPU which can multitask well, you would be better off choosing something like the Ryzen 5 2600 for its great price and high thread count.
It is important to note that while single-threaded performance is an important factor to consider for gaming systems, all of these processors would offer more than enough power to drive a modern gaming PC.
This is true for the older-generation Ryzen and Intel chips as well, so do not hesitate to pick up a discounted older-generation CPU if the price is good.